Figge Art Museum’s new ‘Border Cantos’


DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – The Figge Art Museum presents a new exhibit that allows visitors to watch, listen and learn about the complex issues surrounding the US-Mexico border.

Figge’s new exhibition, “Border Cantos | Sonic Border,” brings together the sights and sounds of the nearly 2,000-mile US-Mexico border through the work of photographer Richard Misrach and artist Guillermo Galindo.

“I just want people to see the issue of immigration from another angle, using the language of art,” Galindo said. “This exhibit and my art open up a space for people to create their own narrative and imagine the stories of the immigrant journey.”

“I think it’s important for everyone to remember that we are all, literally all, immigrants or migrants in this country, and so each of us has a story,” said Andrew Wallace, director of collections and exhibits at the Figge Art Museum. “Every story is perhaps fraught with turmoil and uncertainty.”

Galindo’s work is created from discarded objects found and collected at the US-Mexico border.

“I would say I went to the border about 11 years ago, and found my first personal immigrant items. I usually find an object and try to imagine what sound it might make and how it would sound,” Galindo said.

Galindo calls his works sound devices, not instruments.

“If you create your own sonic device, you can invent the way you play it. Sound devices are communication vehicles of sound,” Galindo said.

The purpose of the exhibit is not to provide a definitive solution to the complicated issues surrounding the Mexico-US border, but rather to offer visitors a new perspective.

“We want people to be able to see with a bigger perspective what’s happening in the world through the prism of art,” Wallace said.

“What’s so beautiful about art is that we don’t give a speech, we don’t literally say something,” Galindo said. “We’re opening up space for people to think in a different way and start realizing that we are, in the end, all the same human beings.”

Wallace estimated that there were 20 combined sound and photography devices inside the exhibit. The “Border Cantos | The “Sonic Border” exhibition is open until June 5, 2022.

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